Kobe Bryant played the final game of his legendary 20-year career with the National Basketball Association's Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night.
The 37-year-old Bryant scored a season-high 60 points to rally the Lakers from a 15-point deficit to a 101-96 victory over the visiting Utah Jazz at Staples Center in front of thousands of fans -- including Oscar-winning actor Jack Nicholson -- who paid thousands of dollars a ticket for a chance to witness Bryant's last game wearing the Lakers's purple-and-gold uniform.
Bryant -- who told the crowd after the game that he "grew up a die-hard Laker fan" -- spent his entire 20 years with the storied franchise, the longest stretch any player has spent with one team in NBA history.
The Hall-of-Fame career of the man known as "The Black Mamba" includes five NBA championships -- including three consecutive titles between 2000-2002 -- and two consecutive Finals most valuable player awards. He also played in 18 straight All-Star games, and was named the league's most valuable player for the 2007-08 season.
Bryant is third on the NBA's all-time scoring list, one notch above the legendary Michael Jordan. His 33,643 points included 25 games in which he scored at least 50 points, and six where he scored at least 60 points, including Wednesday's farewell performance. Bryant's most memorable game was an 81-point scoring night against the Toronto Raptors.
He also has two Olympic gold medals, playing on the United States team in 2008 and 2012.
But Bryant's career was nearly derailed in 2003 when a young woman in Colorado accused him of rape. Prosecutors charged him sexual assault and false imprisonment, but the charges were dropped after his accuser decided not to testify.